Transportation: Crisis and Opportunity
10,000 Friends is a leading advocate for increasing transportation funding and reforming how we invest those resources. Because, we understand that a viable transportation system is the keystone of a strong economy. Unfortunately, we face a history of federal and state transportation polices that have helped to “hollow out” our cities and towns. The opportunity in front of us is to use those same transportation resources to reengineer and reconnect our communities, create a better environment and a more robust economy.
Imagine if the road you travel on every day to work was closed and no longer passable. Envision the bridge that you cross was no longer there. Picture yourself sitting in bumper to bumper traffic everyday; or even paying a half a day’s wage to park because there is no bus service anymore. It can and is happening. At both the state and federal level, the status quo transportation funding mechanisms have become completely inadequate. And, as a result, our transportation system is crumbling and our economy is in peril.
In Pennsylvania, the revenue gap to keep our roads and bridges maintained, provide safety for pedestrians and bicyclists and insure our transit systems operate and are in good repair is now estimated to be $3.5 billion a year by the Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Council.
This situation is mirrored at the Federal level where the primary transportation funding source, the Highway Trust Fund, is heading toward insolvency.
These dual funding crises are reaching a “boiling point” which creates an opportunity to advocate for significant policy reforms. Primary among these reforms is the need to connect land use decisions with transportation investment. Linking these decisions presents a major opportunity to leverage economic development, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing fuel consumption and improving air quality.
Working with like minded partners, 10,000 Friends has convened a coalition called Transportation for Pennsylvania (T 4 PA). The purpose of the coalition is to articulate a vision for transportation funding system that creates jobs, increases public safety, helps revitalize our older cities and towns, and provides Pennsylvanians with more choices about how to get around.
During 2011, we expect to see a vibrant discussion at both the state and federal level, T-4 -PA is rolling out a series of outreach events, activities and communications to help build enthusiasm for a visionary solutions related to our transportation system. With our partners we hope to carry that vision to critical state and federal legislators.
If your organization would like to be involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Active members of (T- 4-PA) include: representatives of statewide groups such as PennTrans, Walk Bike PA, PennPIRG, PennEnvironment and the AARP; regional organizations such as Southeastern PA First Suburbs Project, CONNECT, Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN), Walk Bike Berks, Renew Lehigh Valley, Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers, and Allegheny Transit Council and Go Burgh; and multiple other organizations.